Is R)$YT even a "time" word?

Ian Hutchesson mc2499 at
Fri Mar 22 22:18:56 EST 2002

>The reason why I drop the beth is because it was the preposition plus a time
>noun that you used when you developed this whole rationale for the
>proposition that compound (or, as you kept saying, complex) clauses can
>modify BR)$YT.  One example is your response to me on 6 March: "I think
>nearly all the examples I've already given of inseparable preposition and
>time noun forming a composite preposition such as bywm, b`t and btxlt each
>have the same structure but I don't think you would want to call them
>independent clauses."  The fact that your proposition is based on parallels
>to the forms found from "inseparable pronouns and time noun" is evident
>throughout the early messages, and *this structure* is what you started
>referring to by the shorthand "time phrase".  It was not the syntactic
>purpose for the structure to which you appealed.  Therefore, if R)$YT does
>not qualify as a time noun, your logic of the past several weeks falls
>short.  No stretch.  Just your stated logic at the beginning of the thread.

What happened, Paul, is the realisation that there is something 
specific to the group of b-noun I have listed which unites them, 
making them time phrases. It doesn't have too much to do with 
the simple meaning of one of the parts of the phrase. I don't 
think you would really want to argue that the reference bywm was 
strictly about a "day" anymore, but a conventional way of 
referring to a point in time. The phrase has a life of its own. 
Remember, when I started this thread, I was trying to work out 
what was going on with the data. 

What emerged from the data is that there are a group of b-nouns 
which have a temporal reference which can be related to clauses 
and in at least two examples of bywm with multiple clauses.

Once I had a relatively coherent approach to the data, that's 
when you decided to change the meanings of the phrases to suit 
yourself. This one's a duration; that one's the start of a 
series. That's where you started stretching, Paul.

Your complaint about r'$yt not qualifying as a time noun is also 
probably not accurate in the context of mmlkt cdqyh. Looking at 
the significance of a word in vacuo has little value. However, I 
am talking of br'$yt, because that is the manifestation we are 
trying to analyse. It may be a little like using "behind" and 
"below" and deciding that "hind" and "low" are different types 
of adjective (and they are), yet the combined words provide 
locative prepositions. Going by parts is less reliable than 
going by usage in context.

You haven't commented about whether you think br'$yt () will 
answer the question "when?" If it can, then you shouldn't be 
arguing. I think it can, just as the others I have used can.

As I have said, however, my argument is not solely based on the 
b-noun parallels, but also on the literary stucture of Gen 1, 
which no-one will face, and the comparison with other creation 
accounts, specifically from the Enuma Elish. Each points 
*separately* to the same conclusion: creation starts with "Let 
there be light."


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